THE DEAL IS OFF: Topshop has parted ways with its Chinese franchise partner ShangPin, the Beijing-based fashion and luxury retailer, and said it’s looking for new opportunities to grow in the “hugely significant” Asian market.
Topshop, Topman said Thursday the ShangPin partnership was terminated early by mutual agreement. ShangPin was Topshop’s first Chinese partner, taking the brand into the country in 2014 via ShangPin.com.
“Topshop, Topman and ShangPin have enjoyed a successful working relationship since September 2014,” a Topshop spokesman said. He added that customers can still shop Topshop and Topman products through ShangPin and Tmall.com until Nov. 30. Customers will continue to be serviced via Topshop.com and Topman.com in the region.
The spokesman added that Topshop considers China to be “a hugely significant market for development. The company is currently exploring opportunities to further grow the brands in China.”
Topshop, Topman broke into the Chinese market in 2014 through ShangPin.com, a members-only Web site that offers registered users access to Western brands.
In December 2016, Topshop owner Sir Philip Green inked a deal with ShangPin to expand across Mainland China, with plans to open 80 stand-alone stores.
“The future of retail lies within offering an omnichannel shopping experience,” Green said at the time. “Bringing together Topshop and Topman’s style authority and retail experience with ShangPin’s localized market and tech expertise promises a winning partnership.”
In the end, no stores were opened, with Topshop and ShangPin concluding they could not work together. Topshop has one brick-and-mortar flagship in Hong Kong, and no Mainland China stores.
So far, it’s been a month of breakups between British retailers and their Chinese partners, with C.banner walking away from a deal last week to buy a 51 percent stake in of House of Fraser. Over the past two weeks HoF, which is already restructuring and shutting stores, has been scrambling to find a new backer.
As reported, the troubled retailer is in crisis talks with potential investors to fill the 70 million pounds funding gap left by C.banner’s exit.
According to Sky News, suitors tabled their final offers for the company on Thursday morning, with PricewaterhouseCoopers, which is acting for HoF’s lenders and bondholders, set to make a decision by the end of this week.
The three bidders are understood to be Sports Direct’s billionaire boss Mike Ashley, another retail mogul; the Dubai-based Philip Day; and the retail turnaround fund Alteri Investors.